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Indian shares dragged by financial stocks; PNB Housing Finance slides

BENGALURU, June 21 (Reuters) - Losses in heavyweight financial stocks pulled Indian shares lower on Monday, while housing loans provider PNB Housing Finance dropped after a regulatory hold on a proposed capital raise.

By 0458 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.43% at 15,615.85, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex had lost 0.39% to 52,137.95.

While both the indices touched record highs earlier this month after COVID-19 cases declined and pandemic-led curbs were eased, a hawkish turn by the U.S. central bank led the Nifty and the Sensex to post their first weekly loss in five on Friday.

“Even the U.S. markets are trying to find their feet in terms of how do we interpret (the Fed’s statements),” Mayuresh Joshi, head of equity research at William O’Neil & Co in India, said.

Domestic equities will also be analysing the fallout and, in the interim, will trade in a range-bound manner, he said.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said last week he was among the seven officials who expect rate hikes beginning next year, spooking investors already worried about the U.S. central bank’s projection, during its policy meeting, of rate increases by end-2023.

Among individual stocks in Mumbai, PNB Housing Finance fell 5% to hit its lower circuit limit after India’s markets regulator asked the company to put on hold a share allocation to a clutch of investors led by private equity firm Carlyle Group .

Investment banking company Centrum Capital gained over 16% after India’s central bank approved the takeover of the troubled Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank by the company’s unit.

State utility firm NTPC gained as much as 3% after posting higher March-quarter profit.

Heavyweight financial stocks were the biggest drags on the Nifty 50, with the Nifty Bank Index being on track for a fourth straight session of declines. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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